Patient and unassuming, AD carry Bradley "Vex" Miller is the quietest member of his team. He speaks only when he feels truly adamant about a particular call, which is only once or twice a game, or saves his voice to back up the calls of his Scouting Grounds bot lane partner, support Ryan "Whyin" Karaszkiewicz.
Together, they cover both extremes of the personality scale on Team Ocean, a group of amateur players supported by the Team Liquid organization for the duration of the Riot Games-sponsored Scouting Grounds event. Vex is mostly silent while Whyin is a ball of energy and the loudest voice in the Team Ocean, both in and out of game. When the two qualify for the Scouting Grounds finals, Whyin excitedly chatters about their recent victory against Team Infernal and is surprisingly interrupted by a sudden outburst from Vex.
“It feels amazing!” Vex says with a gigantic grin. Spinning next to Vex in his gaming chair is Whyin, who claps his hands together with a matching smile.
"Yeah, best bot lane at Scouting Grounds,” he then turns to Vex. “Have you seen your KDAs dude? They’re great. You’re nuts!”
The two continue to talk over one another in an attempt to explain why their team — composed of Maxime “MaxTrobo” Delangis Gallichand, Ray “Wiggily” Griffin, Aleksei “rjsdndgod” Zatorski, Vex and Whyin — is now headed to the finals over Team Mountain and Team Infernal, both of which were expected to place higher in the short round robin.
“We won draft, I mean Wiggily—” Whyin starts.
“We have the best coach, for sure!” Vex interrupts.
“Oh yeah, DLim is amazing,” Whyin continues. “DLim, Josh and Sam are—”
“—the best coaches for sure,” Vex finishes.
As a training event, Scouting Grounds aims to give amateur players from the North American Challenger Ladder a taste of competitive play. Team Ocean are backed by Team Liquid, who leant their new head coach David Lim along with jungler Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett and Samson “Lourlo” Jackson to help players learn as much as they can within the short week.
“DLim’s a genius,” Whyin says. He follows this up with words that could have come straight from his Scouting Grounds coach’s mouth. “We’re not playing scrims to win, we play scrims to learn and learn stuff about our opponents’ champion pools.”
“Yeah it’s just like my solo queue, that’s why my stats are so bad in solo queue,” Vex jokes. “But honestly, I don’t want to be solo queue obsessed. It’s all about what I can do in a real match."
“We also have Wiggily, probably best jungler if not tied with Omar, but I’m pretty sure he’s better than Omar,” Whyin says. “We have RJ, who has been such a beast—”
“MaxTrobo is like the top carry,” Vex adds.
“Yeah MaxTrobo is just like, soloing everyone,” Whyin finishes.
Despite the limited time they’ve spent playing together, Vex and Whyin have transitioned with ease into becoming a bot lane duo.
“I hadn’t even played with any of you guys before I got drafted,” Vex tells Whyin.
“You didn’t talk at all before you got drafted because you’re a serial killer, dude,” Whyin says. The two laugh for a moment as Whyin continues to spin in his chair. “You are KingVex. The king.”
In high spirits, the two continue to banter back and forth for a bit before joining up with the rest of Team Ocean for celebratory Korean barbeque.
Team Ocean will take on Team Cloud in the Scouting Grounds finals at 2 p.m. PST. The event will not be streamed, but VODs will be made available by Riot following the event.
Emily Rand is a staff writer for theScore eSports. You can follow her on Twitter.